Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, tore into the British cave diving expert who helped in rescuing the 12 boys that were trapped in a Thai cave earlier this month. In a tweet, he called the explorer a “pedo guy.”
The CEO came under fire for his efforts to help in the rescue by sending a child-size submarine into the Tham Luong cave system.
In an interview with CNN, an explorer who is an expert in the cave named Vernon Unsworth said that the submarine of Musk was “a PR stunt.”
During the interview, Unsworth said: “He had no conception of what the cave passage was like.”
He added: “The submarine, I believe, was about five-foot-six long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone around corners or round any obstacles.”
Unsworth lives in the Chiang Rai province of Thailand. He said that Musk was “asked to leave” the cave “very quickly,” and that he “can stick his submarine where it hurts.”
The chief of the rescue operation also stated that the submarine of Musk was considered “not practical” for the mission.
In a series of tweets that came as a response to a New York Times opinion writer who encouraged Musk to consider the experience “as a lesson,” Musk defended his submarine and promised to share a video of the success of the project.
In a tweet, Musk said: “Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves. Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great. Thai navy seals escorted us in — total opposite of wanting us to leave.”
In another tweet, he continued: “Water level was actually very low & still (not flowing) — you could literally have swum to Cave 5 with no gear, which is obv how the kids got in. If not true, then I challenge this dude to show final rescue video. Huge credit to pump & generator team. Unsung heroes here.”
The final tweet of Musk in the thread pointed to Unsworth as “pedo guy.”
He tweeted: “You know what, don’t bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”
Various key personalities who were involved in the rescue stated that Unsworth was considered to be integral to the operation’s success.
The comments were released after Musk was exposed to be a major donor to a PAC that was dedicated to maintaining Republican control of the House.